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Kansas State vs #3/2 Kansas: Open Game Thread

Sunflower Showdown Part 2

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Kansas State
I want to feel this again.
Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time.

The second matchup against the Jayhawks that K-State fans have been waiting for since KU walked out of Allen Fieldhouse with a win. A game in which, for the first time in recent history, the Kansas State Wildcats didn’t look like an outmatched team from the start. Things have been up and down for the Cats on the court since then, but Wildcat fans have yet to walk-off the bad feelings from that loss.

K-State has been a bit of an enigma so far in 2017. Holding wins over then #7 West Virginia, at Oklahoma State, and just recently over #2/3 Baylor in Waco, you’d expect these Cats to be in the top two or three of the conference. But a failure to close-out games or show up early has also resulted in puzzling losses at Texas Tech, at Iowa State, at Tennessee, and to TCU at home. Before the 56-54 win at Baylor just two days ago, the Wildcats were mired in a three-game losing streak, and hope for the season was nearly gone. It’s crazy how much can change in a day.

Dean Wade finally looked mostly healthy, draining 12 points and snagging 6 rebounds. Kamau Stokes kept up his hot streak, leading the team in scoring in each of the last two games. D.J. Johnson only put in 9 points, thanks to some poor FT shooting, but snagged 6 rebounds and had the pivotal block that won the game for the Cats. Even Wesley Iwundu played more assertive, even while committing a bad turnover late, raking in a near double-double 10 point and 8 rebound effort. The Cats will need more than all that to beat KU tonight.

Nearly every K-State fan knows what happened to the Jayhawks in their last game. The ‘Hawks home-court win streak is now officially back to zero, as KU gave up a big lead and lost to Iowa State in Allen Fieldhouse 92-89 in overtime, thanks to a record three-point effort from the Cyclones. Iowa State is now the only school to beat Bill Self in AFH more than once, that’s just crazy.

Greg Woods again has all the background info you need in the lead-up tonight’s main event, so be sure and check it out.

Tonight’s game, slated for an 8:07pm CT tip, will be broadcast on ESPN as part of the network’s Big Monday lineup, with Bob Wischusen (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) on the call, and streaming may be available to you (depending on your location and provider/package) at WatchESPN.com. Audio, as always, is available on the K-State Sports Network (Sirius 84/XM 84) and streaming online at K-StateSports.com.

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP

Kansas State
G: #3 Kamau Stokes
G: #5 Barry Brown
G: #25 Wesley Iwundu
F: #32 Dean Wade
F: #4 D.J. Johnson

Kansas
G: #0 Frank Mason III
G: #4 Devonte’ Graham
G: #10 Svi Mykhailiuk
G: #11 Josh Jackson
C: #33 Landen Lucas